NICK SABAN MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

What Saban had to say prior to the Texas A&M game

OPENING STATEMENT:

“We did a lot of good things in the Ole Miss game. We had a lot of explosive plays. Looking at the film, we still have a lot of things we can improve on. We need to maintain our standard of excellence. We showed a lot of resilience in bounding back after a first play that was not what we wanted it to be (a 75-yard bomb for the Rebels’ only points.)

“It’s important our players understand we’re playing a really good team this week in Texas A&M. Jimbo’s (Fisher) done a good job there. Against Clemson, they had a lot of opportunities to win the game. The quarterback is playing really well. They’ve got great balance. Their running back probably leads our league in rushing. Their defense is playing well… and their punter is outstanding. This is the best team we’ve played so far.”

(Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond is 56-for-89 passing for 824 yards and six touchdowns through three games. He has not thrown an interception. Running back Trayveon Williams has rushed 59 times for 399 net yards and scored four times. He does lead the SEC in rushing yardage.)

ON JIMBO FISHER’S IMPACT AT A&M

“Jimbo has done a really good job. They run the ball. Really good play-action passes with a lot of elements of spread. They’re a really good passing team.”

ON JALEN HURTS’ IMPROVEMENT THIS SEASON

“Jalen has certainly improved in the pocket. There’s never been question about his arm talent. It’s been making second reads. That’s something he’s really improved on.”

(Hurts through three games is 19-for-28 passing for 248 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.)

ON SAFETIES DEIONTE THOMPSON AND XAVIER MCKINNEY

“Both those guys have played well. They’re both playing with a lot of confidence and now have better knowledge and understanding. We’ve got to continue to build on that.”

ON WHETHER PLAYING FSU LAST SEASON WHEN FISHER WAS COACH WILL HELP THE PREPARATION FOR THIS GAME

“There’s a lot of similarities in what they do. Jimbo does a good job of featuring their talent. They have a really good receiving tight end. Jimbo is using him well.”

(Aggies junior tight end Jace Sternberger has ten catches, 146 yards and three scores.)

ON HOW A&M DIFFERS IN PERSONEL GROUPING COMPARED TO OLE MISS

“It’s completely different. This team is completely opposite. They have lots of formations and personnel groupings. They’re more similar to Louisville. There are more formations to adjust to.”

ON CORNERBACK TREVON DIGGS

“Trevon is a guy that because we moved him over from receiver probably took a little time in terms of understanding. Now he’s very confident and playing well. He’s also playing Star, which gives us more diversity in the back end.”

ON RECRUITING IN THE STATE OF TEXAS

“There’s a lot of great high school programs and players in that state. We have recruited a lot of players and had some luck in getting some good players. I think you know who they are. We’re going to continue to recruit there very hard and hopefully get some more good players who can help our program.”

HAS HE HEARD ANY “RAT POISON” THIS SEASON?

“I can’t really answer that because I haven’t seen the players since the game, but the standard of excellence cannot be affected by outside voices. I mentioned in the opening statement that we need to maintain our standard of excellence. What you did yesterday doesn’t really matter. It’s what you did today.

“It’s like climbing a mountain. The higher you get, the more treacherous it can get. This is the best team (in A&M) we’ve played.”

 

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